Speedskater Clara Hughes carried the Canadian flag at the head of our delegation of athletes at the official opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver last evening.
We expect our BC athletes to win a bagful of medals at the Games but I notice that it has been a while since one of our own got to tote the flag. It was 1972, in fact, at Sapporo, Japan, and the flag waver was North Vancouver's own Karen Magnussen. Two-time figure-skating world champion, she won a silver medal at those Games and is still active in the sport.
As far as I can discover, the only other BC athlete to carry the flag has been, naturally, downhill skier Nancy Greene at the previous Olympics in Grenoble, France, in 1968. Greene was on hand last night as one of four sports celebs chosen to light the Olympic cauldron. In 1968 she won two medals for Canada, a gold in the giant slalom and silver in the slalom.
It seems that when one of our BC athletes is asked to represent the Canadian team, they come through in, well, Olympic fashion.